Looking for the perfect summer meal without turning on the oven or grill? Well, here it is, the PERFECT summer salad full of flavor and satisfying to everyone. I make the dressing in a double batch so there is always extra and preparing the bacon the night before after the sun sets keeps you cool too.
BLT SALAD with CREAMY CHIVE DRESSING
12 ounce package center cut bacon, cooked crisp and crumbled
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
2 cloves garlic, minced
FRESH ground sea salt, to taste
FRESH ground black pepper, to taste
3/4 cup sour cream
1/4 cup finely minced FRESH chives
2 tablespoons avocado oil
1-2 tablespoons buttermilk (yep, that reads milk :D)
1 head green leaf or Bibb lettuce, torn into pieces
1 package grape tomatoes, halved
1 bunch green onions, thinly sliced OR 1/3 cup finely chopped red onion
8 ounces of sourdough bread, WELL toasted, lightly buttered and cut into cubes
- Whisk together the vinegar, garlic and salt. Let stand 10 minutes. This will help mellow the flavor a bit.
- Whisk in sour cream and avocado oil until well blended.
- Fold in chives.
- Thin with milk to desired consistency.
- In a large salad bowl toss together the lettuce, tomatoes, onions and bacon pieces.
- Fold in toasted bread pieces.
- Season to taste with FRESH ground salt and pepper.
- Drizzle with dressing.
- Garnish with additional chives and ENJOY!
I originally copy catted this recipe (literally jotting down each and every ingredient as I ate the salad) from a favorite TEX MEX haunt in Texas, Chuy’s (1982), not to be confused with Chuy’s (1975) a favorite haunt from the west coast. For several years they had a tug-o-war over the name, but somehow they both still exist.
It has since become a family favorite that we make A LOT during the spring and summer in particular.
MEXICAN COBB SALAD
Bed of Lettuce
Grilled chicken breast, chilled and chopped
1 roma tomato, chopped
1 avocado chopped
1/8 cup chopped green chiles
1/4 cup grated jack cheese
1/4 cup grated cheddar cheese
Juice of 1 Lime
RE-VISTED MEXICAN COBB SALAD
AND then I originally posted this recipe for a beach party at Seaside Simplicity. It was perfect to accommodate Martha’s Jalapeno Poppers. But that was a few years ago and then I updated it to include taco meat, black beans and marinated tomatoes. The dressing remains the key element of this salad.
JALAPENO RANCH DRESSING
2 cups buttermilk
2 cups mayonnaise
1 tablespoon onion powder
1 tablespoon crushed parsley flakes
2 tablespoons Penzey’s California crushed jalapenos
1 tablespoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon celery salt
1/4 teaspoon white pepper
- Whisk all together and chill overnight before serving
CELERY SEED DRESSING
1/2 cup sugar
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon dry mustard (optional as I’m allergic)
2 green onions, finely minced
2 teaspoons celery seed
1 cup olive oil (I use a lemon olive oil bu a vegetable oil works too)
1/3 cup vinegar (I sometimes use a flavored rice wine vinegar or apple cider vinegar)
- In the bowl of a food processor mix together the sugar, salt, dry mustard, celery seed and onions until well mixed.
- Gradually add in the oil and vinegar alternately.
- Chill before serving, but us also good heated.
SWEET ITALIAN VINAIGRETTE
1 tablespoon garlic, minced
1 tablespoon FRESH oregano, minced or 1/2 teaspoon dried
2 tablespoons FRESH parsley, minced or 2 teaspoons dried
1 tablespoon FRESH basil, minced or 1/2 teaspoon dried
1 tablespoon FRESH tarragon, minced or 1/2 teaspoon dried
1 tablespoon sugar
Fresh ground Himalayan Salt, to taste
Fresh ground black pepper, to taste
1 cup apple cider vinegar
1/4 cup white truffle olive oil
3/4 cup avocado oil
- Add ALL the ingredients into a mason jar.
- Screw the lid on tightly and shake vigorously.
- The dressing will keep in the fridge for 2 weeks.
- Pour over your favorite salad ingredients and enjoy!
NOTE: If using dried herbs make the dressing several hours before you need it so the flavors can absorb into the dressing.
A true Panzanella is made with stale Italian bread, but croutons can be used in a pinch for a quick week night meal. It also calls for prosciutto, but I rarely have that on hand and have found that bacon works just as well for my family. Personally, I do not like olive oil so have substituted avocado oil and butter. You can also adjust the vegatable combinations to what you have on hand and/or your family’s taste palette. The key is the bread ratio to making this a true Panzanella salad.
At this time of year especially, I have plenty of homemade croutons for the Thanksgiving stuffing making this the perfect time to have this wonderful salad. **I use a combination of sourdough bread and hamburger buns. I tuck away in the freezer all the stale bread for several weeks/months before the holiday season just to have the versatility of flavors.
2 cups stale rustic Italian bread, torn into bite size pieces**
1/8 cup avocado oil
2 tablespoons butter, melted
1 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
1 cup baby spinach
1 cup torn romaine leaves
1/3 cup diced red onion
1 English cucumber, halved and sliced
1/2 pound grape tomatoes, halved
1/4 cup fresh chopped basil
1/2 pound bacon, diced
1/2 – 3/4 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
Pepperoncinis, to taste (optional)
DRESSING also see alternate VINAIGRETTE BELOW
1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons avocado oil
2 tablespoons Golden Balsamic Vinegar
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
salt and pepper, to taste
- Preheat oven to 300°.
- Combine avocado oil and melted butter.
- Add bread pieces and toss to coat.
- Sprinkle with sea salt and pepper and toss again to mix.
- Arrange bread pieces in a single layer and toast in oven until crisp – about 30 minutes or so.
- In a large skillet brown bacon pieces in a single layer until browned and crisp. Drain. Set aside to cool.
- Whisk dressing ingredients together until emulsified. Set aside.
- While the bread is toasting prepare vegetables by washing and chopping.
- In a large salad bowl toss together the spinach, torn romaine, red onion, basil, tomato halves, mozzarella cheese, cooled bacon pieces and cooled toast pieces.
- Drizzle dressing over salad and toss.
- Serve immediately.
3 tablespoons tequila
3 tablespoons fresh lime juice (2 large limes)
2 tablespoons fresh chopped cilantro, chopped
1⁄4 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1⁄2 cup avocado oil
fresh ground salt and black pepper, to taste
- Whisk together all the ingredients except for the avocado oil in a medium-sized mixing bowl.
- Slowly incorporate the oil into the bowl with a whisk until the mixture becomes emulsified.
- Season as necessary.
SHARING with FOODIE FRIDAY and TASTY THURSDAY.
Need a quick, easy and pretty side dish for Thanksgiving? I have it right here for you!
CUCUMBER POMEGRANATE SALAD
1-2 large cucumbers, sliced thin
1 bunch green onions, sliced
1/2 cup pomegranate seeds
- Arrange cucumbers, green onions and pomegranate seeds on serving plate.
- Generously salt and pepper.
- Drizzle dressing over top.
1/3 cup peanut oil
3 tablespoons champagne vinegar
Juice of 1 lemon
3 tablespoons sugar
salt & pepper to taste
- Whisk together peanut oil, champagne vinegar, lemon juice, sugar, salt & pepper. Chill for several hours.